Sunday, December 05, 2004

State of the Party, Part I

Short post today, but as I get started here I feel compelled to offer whatever brief analysis I can regarding the outcome of last month's election. While much of this has been hashed and rehashed throughout blogland, there are a few items that have largely escaped the note of some of my fellow bloggers, and of course, not surprisingly, our friends in the so-called "liberal media".

Like most of you, I've spent the last month in considerable pain, forced to endure the spectacle of the Administration's unchallenged claim of a supposed mandate based on a 51% of the vote, and results from exit polls showing that a small plurality of voters identified "values" as their main issue of concern, a finding that has given the authoritarian wingnuts gruel to chew on.

Folks, here is what you need to know about presidential elections: The results almost always turn on the economy, the popularity of the incumbent party, and foreign policy broadly defined. They are rarely if ever about ideology or "issues" as we understand them.

Second, here is what you need to know about elections involving an incumbent running for his party's second straight term. They usually win. Big. Look it up. FDR in '36, Ike in '56, Johnson in '64, Nixon in '72, Carter in '80, Reagan in '84 and Clinton in '96. The only one in the group to lose was Carter. The others won by larger popular and electoral margins than Our Leader and his 51%. When presidents are running for their party's second term they usually do very well.

With that in mind, it needs to be said that Kerry and the Democrats by extension, did very well at the presidential level. At the presidential level, there is no crisis. Here that? SCLM this means you. The race was very close. In a way, that is what makes the result so painful. But 2008 will be a very winnable race and I would expect the Democrat to be well positioned, whomever he or she may be.

Some of you may be wondering if in my return to society I haven't faced the facts regarding the results in the House and Senate races. For gosh sakes Jay we lost 4 seats in the Senate, and that Tom Delay got more seats in the House. Well, I have. And I'll attempt to address them in the next post, or the second, or the third, whatever it takes.

For now, for your encouragement, please read Judis' and Texiera's The Emerging Democratic Majority, and call me in the morning.

And don't forget, "we stand on the edge of a new millenium..."

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